Peace

Listen and Wait

Listening requires being quiet
Waiting requires patience
Neither is easy but both are necessary for God to speak
and for us to hear.
Waiting is difficult but what do we miss when we don’t wait for the clear direction of the Lord?
What do we jump into that isn’t the correct path, just because we are impatient?

I know I have done things in the past that after I began, I knew that God wanted me to do something else but I jumped ahead.

Listen and Wait

What are you waiting for today?

Let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
Hebrews 12:1

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The choice is ours, whether we listen to God and His prompting, or if we jump ahead of the plan God has for you.

Wait patiently for the Lord to speak because He will speak.

But we have to wait for Him to speak and the Words need to connect with our hearts.

Our hearts connect to God through prayer, praise, solitude, love and the Word of the Bible.

Nothing can speak to us louder than the Lord if we are in-tune.

We must stop the noise and listen

and wait.

Imagine Freedom

Imagine freedom from fear or anxiety.

What does it look like in your mind?

Have you ever experienced that before?

Freedom is possible with God. Personally, I know the struggle you may be facing today. You feel like the freedom you so desperately want is just out of reach or God only has that for someone else.

We tend to believe the lies of the enemy instead of looking at the wonderful aspects of our lives that God has given us on a daily basis.

I understand.

I did the same thing for so long. I doubted His love for me, even though I could look around and see all the beautiful aspects of my life.

Yet, the one aim of my life seemed so out of reach.

Freedom from fear, anxiety and agoraphobia was nowhere to be found; or so it seemed.

Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable. Click to Tweet

Nothing is impossible with God, even when we doubt or feel unworthy.

Luke 1:37 For with God nothing is impossible.

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God has a plan, even when we don’t understand. After all of my struggles, I have a story to tell. Our stories help others know that they are not alone.

Share your story here today. What has God healed your from or helped you overcome?

Nothing is lost.

Let me pray for you:

Lord, nothing is lost in your sight. You know the beginning and the end of our lives. We have pain but that can be used for your glory if we follow your leading. I pray that anyone that is struggling today, that they can find a sense of peace by listening for your voice. You speak and we listen. Help us to quiet ourselves. Help us to seek your face and to see the wonder in even the small freedoms we have.

Linking up with

Simply Beth

Juana Mikels

The Beauty in His Grip

Messy Marriage

Journey to Freedom

I have been reading a great book called ” The Unburdened Heart” by Suzanne Eller.  The book is well written and offers very good insight on the subject of finding freedom to forgive.

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This is a topic that I certainly needed to read at this point in my life. I have not always been a very good forgiver.. LOL.

How about you?

Do you struggle with forgiveness or does this come easily to you?

Suzanne offers some very valuable information throughout the book but one particular word she focused on really stuck with me.

The word is aphiemi which means to:

1. Send away

2. to let it die

3. to exchange for something else

4. to give up a debt

5. to forgive.

Suzanne discusses how when we use this word in relation to forgiveness it means we leave anger to find joy.

This is how I have felt much of the last two years. For most of my life I had held onto such anger and unforgiveness due to the way my biological family had always treated me and my family. I knew from as early as 4 or 5 years old that I was not really wanted. My parents had always made this very clear in the way I was treated but also the words spoken. Of course, this led to years of feeling so unworthy in every way and having no self-confidence. Relationships were damaged because how can you love someone else when you have no idea how to love yourself. You certainly have no capability of allowing another person to truly love you because they don’t know the real “you” like your biological family does. This was the cycle I found myself in for years and year.

I would try to be a good wife, mother and friend but I really had no clue as how to make that happen. I knew that I loved my children and husband, but until I came to accept the fact that God loved me for ME, then I would never be able to love my children or husband properly either. This was the constant battle because I heard from my parents and siblings over and over for 40 years how crazy I was because of the anxiety and panic attacks, but also how big a mistakes I was in general. I didn’t see myself as a mistake but I always believed what was spoken over me and my life. Evil and malicious words were the normal part of those relationships, so that is what I believed.

My relationships struggled because I didn’t see myself as anyone of value. How could anyone else love me when my own parents and siblings didn’t?

This was the inward struggle. Yet, after reading Suzanne’s book I have come to understand that by the neglect and abandonment of my family repeatedly over my lifetime, I had no way of having a clear view or understanding of God and HIS love for me. It distorted everything I did or didn’t do. Nothing was clear because my view of God was unclear. Until that became clear, no other relationships would work nor would I find the freedom to be myself.

The two are connected

and there is no separating them.

Without our view of God being correct, our lives will constantly spin out of control and all of our relationships will suffer.

The past two years I have learned more about myself than I had the previous 44 years.

One thing I have learned is that God loves me, designed me and has a great plan for my life.
Without Him in my life, I am nothing.

I am thankful that my heart is becoming more and more free from un-forgiveness and finding happiness to the fullest.

Isn’t God good?

I am thankful that God did not give up on me even when I gave up on myself.

I would highly recommend this book by Suzanne Eller.

Year in Review

winter tree

A year of beauty but also a year of pain.

That has been my life.

Relationships fail

Pain is inflicted; whether intentional or unintentional

Harm is done that cannot be forgetten

Things will change whether we want them to or not.

But one thing that will never change is the power of God in our lives.

I am finally free.

Free from anxiety, fear and agoraphobia.

God has changed my life in so many ways.

Confidence

Self-Esteem

Love

Faith

Hope

Joy

Peace

And FREEDOM

Finally Free

Choose to Believe

Choose to Believe

We all have choices to make each day.

Choices to believe

or not to believe

Choices whether to love or hate

Forgive or hold onto to unforgiveness

Grow or remain stagnant

Live or Die

Believe in God

or

Deny God

For me, many of these are easier than others. One that will never change will be to BELIEVE IN GOD. I have faced 3 suicides, a murder, abuse, neglect, car wrecks, anxiety, fear, agoraphobia, loss of jobs, friendships, as well as other tragedies, but through it all I have never stopped believing in God. My faith has been shaken but no denying God has stepped in more than once to protect, guide, and love me through it all.

Believe in God

Even when it is hard

Even when you want to give up

Lean into HIM

Praying for you today. Lean into HIM and HIS love for you. It is unconditional and full of peace if you trust HIM and HIS plan. HIS plan will always be best. Life happens but nothing is out of HIS control.

CHOOSE TO BELIEVE

Linking up with:

Simply Beth

My Daily Walk in His Grace

Moving Forward

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Wednesday, I fasted and prayed.

I believe God heard my prayers, so now I must wait.

The battle has been long and difficult, but I am not going to give up or give into the enemies lies.
My God did not set me free so that I could go back into the darkness again.

He called me to heal the brokenhearted and to offer hope to those in a place of darkness.

So, now I must move forward with the call God has placed on my life.

It won’t be easy because I know that each step I take forward, the enemy is waiting in the wings to want me to go two steps back.

Not going to happen.

This girl has faced more in her life than most will ever be able to comprehend, yet I am a fighter, an over-comer and a believer that no matter what happens, my God is ultimately in control.

Today I stand on the promises and wait for the answers.

There are lives and hearts at stake but God sees it all and understands exactly the anguish my heart is in, but it will not be for nothing.

My testimony will once again be for the LORD and HIS work in my life.

Moving Forward, but waiting.

Are you in Egypt?

This song resonates with me and the real shaking my family is currently facing.

I have  faced spiritual battles before in my own life; especially when it has come to my bondage and stronghold to fear, anxiety and agoraphobia. Yet, this battle is even more…

More painful.

More loss involved.

More on the line.

Lives. Families. Relationships. Sin. Eternal.

The song by Sara Groves has really spoke to my heart lately.

Life was comfortable before because I knew what the day was going to hold. I knew that I would be fearful, anxious and panic stricken in most every part of the day. The life I am living now is more uncomfortable, especially in the present day of such a spiritual attack on my life and the lives of those I love.

Yet, I know the past is closed off to me.

The past is so tangible. I know it by heart. Such powerful words from the song.. Oh, they speak to me. I knew the past by heart.

Familiar things are hard to discard. Oh My.. Yes.

I lived in such a path of darkness for so long. My eyes were covered by  fear. I felt I had no value to anyone. The ones that I so desperately wanted to love me, totally abandoned me and left me feeling worthless. Even though the familiar was unhappy, damaging and not the best God had for me, I stayed stuck.

Stuck because I didn’t feel worthy of any other life.

I was painting pictures of Egypt but none were coming true. The past had such a hold, yet the future seemed unattainable. I was stuck in the middle. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

I so desperately wanted to go, yet I hesitated. Fear continued to hold me back.

I was caught between the PROMISE and the things I knew.

One of the verses in this song says, ” But the places that used to fit me, cannot hold the things I have learned. ”

I cannot explain how this song has spoke to my heart. Life changing.
Beyond words.

Did someone tell Sara Groves my story because it seems that this song was written just for me.

I so desperately wanted freedom from the past abuse, neglect, fear, anxiety and agoraphobia, but I saw no solution. Yet, God had bigger plans.

He set me free from anxiety, fear and agoraphobia in August 2012. After 40 years of living with this I am now free. Free to travel. Free to drive alone. Free to be happy, whole and ANGIE.

The timing was right for the Lord to heal me.

The song says, ” If it comes too quick I may not recognize it. ”

If God had done this tremendous work in my life 8 years ago, would I have been ready? Would I be in the place I am with my ministry? Would I be in a place where freedom would truly be mine?

I am not so sure. His timing was right, just as it always is.

Yesterday I  fasted, prayed and sought the Word and will of the Lord for the shaking and attack my family is currently under. So much pain. So many unanswered questions.

Yet, even when the shaking continues..

I will not let the enemy win and I certainly will not go back to the past life I once lived. I have come too far.

Prayer for you and me:

Lord, today I want to thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed on me and my family. I ask that you do the same for the reader. Help them to feel your love and your powerful healing touch for whatever they may be facing. Life is hard, yet we are over-comers with you on our side. Nothing can break the love you have for us as believers. We stand connected with you and the armies of angels surrounding us. Even when life feels like it is so painful, we continue to trust and believe in your better plan. We don’t see what you are doing behind the scenes, but you know the perfect time and place to have all the pieces fit together. Lord, help us to continue to trust, love and accept. Acceptance does not mean we are happy, but it does mean we know you are faithful to perfect all that concerns us and our loved ones. Lord, watch over and protect my family. We know the restoration, love and healing is possible. One day, I hope to be able to tell the full story of the restoring power of JESUS.

Linking up with :

More To Be

Little By Little

Same but different

How can three siblings be so different yet grew up in the same home?

I wonder.

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I know for me being the middle child, life was much different from it was for my other two siblings. One sister was 3 years older and then a baby brother was 11 years younger. I was a good kid who loved to read, ride her bike, play outside and play “office” in her room. I was quiet and shy much of my early years, which meant that my mom called me names from a very early age. “I was a “problem”. I was not ” normal”.  There had to be something “wrong” with me. Why was I so fearful? Why did I cry so much? Couldn’t I be like my sister? ”

From as early as 3 or 4 years old, this was my everyday life. We lived one way at home behind closed doors and another in public. Most of the extended family could see how I was treated but often was fearful of confronting the situation because of the possible distancing of me from them. Most felt that if they kept me close, then at least I could be protected on some level.

Most were wrong.
I was not protected.I was not safe.

I lived in fear each day of once again waking up to the nightmare, yet dreaded sleep even more. Sleep frightened me. Darkness overwhelmed me. Fear was my best friend. At least with fear I knew what to expect. I couldn’t say the same for my parents or siblings.

It is still that way today. I never know from one minute to the next what my “first” family will do today to try to hurt me or harm my 2nd family. The family that I so love is often hurt so deeply by the out reaching tentacles of the “crazy” ones.

Family that I wish loved me, as I love them

wanted me healthy, happy and whole, as I pray  for them

cherished my children, as I do theirs

wished the best for me,  as I do them.

But after reading Elisa Morgan’s newest book, ” The Beauty of Broken” I have come to the realization that we each have adapted to our raising and childhood in different ways. I had to leave that life from the day I turned 18, while the other two have stayed entrenched in that life. If I had not left, I would have lost myself even more. It took me until I was 46 years old to finally try to find ” Angie” and to really seek what God said about me. To block out what has been said about me by my first family. To believe I am worth more. To believe I am loved. Such hard truths to accept. Yet, I am on the road today.

I would have lost me if I had stayed any longer.

I would recommend this powerful book to anyone struggling in their own family. Elisa shares the ups and down of her childhood as well as her life as a mother, wife and the struggles of that family. Powerful reading and you will walk away looking at your relationships in a different light.

Side Note: When my dad passed away 12 years ago, my mother wanted everyone to write something on the pine box casket. My husband wrote, ” Dennis, thank you for giving me your wonderful daughter Angie to love and cherish. She is so special to me. ”

My mom went behind hubby and marked out the writing.

 

Forgive and Forget?

I have been doing a lot of thinking about a scripture verse in Luke 17:3-4 which says:

Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day returns to you saying ” I repent, and you shall forgive him.  KJV.

This has been a struggle for me in my own “first” family as Elisa Morgan describes in her book ”  The Beauty of the Broken.”

beauty and broken

My “first” family is not healthy, whole or even in the least happy, yet they often do not even realize it. Since I have overcome my anxiety, fear and Agoraphobia my family continues to try to pull me back into the dysfunction and often crazy behavior.

My healing is mine and I certainly can not heal them but I wish I could. I wish I could give them the same freedom I have found, but I personally do not feel that they even want the happiness and joy that God has given me. For years, I also lived a very unhealthy, unhappy exsitence.

Some folks like drama and some folks like to be unhealthy.

Reading the verse I was discussing it with a pastor friend and he said,

” If a person repents, then you forgive. But if they don’t repent and ask for forgiveness with a sorrow that is Godly; not a “I got caught sorrow” then you can forgive the person and have a relationship. The Godly sorrow and repentance must come from a sorrowful heart that is broken for the pain they caused.”

I then questioned, ” If they do not repent, do you have a relationship after rebuking them which then allows them to continue to do the same thing again?  He said, ” NO” Rebuking and repentance must go hand in hand for total forgiveness and restoration to happen.

But forgiveness comes in either instance. Whether they ask for forgiveness or not, we as Christians must forgive, but that does not mean we forget and fall into the same trap again with this person.

I know that I can forgive my family and have had to repeatedly do that over my lifetime of horrible atrocities. Just because I forgive does not mean that they have had a repentant heart or EVER apologized in any form or fashion. From a physical assault by my brother, to damaging letters about my child, to hot checks being written repeatedly to on and on. No apologizes ever.

Yet, there are some folks that stand behind the belief that forgiveness means you must have contact with that person again. I stand to differ. I believe forgiveness is always our goal because without forgiveness we become bitter, angry, resentful Christians. Yet, boundaries are often necessary.

Forgiveness is different from having a relationship with the offender again.

Luke 17: 3-4 makes it clear we are to rebuke, repent and then forgive.

I believe the Word of God is powerful and allows the believer to fight the good fight.

Fight

Stand

Believe

Put on the Whole Armor of God

My God is all-powerful and has equipped me for the battles I face.

I can forgive and have, but that does not mean that I will back down in a spiritual battle for my healing and my 2nd family.

One day we will each have to answer for what we have done on this earth; good and bad.

I am a sinner that is full of God’s mercy. Thankfully.

I am not perfect and do not claim to be perfect. I am an over-comer and will continue to overcome.

What the enemy has thrown my way by the hands of my “first” family, the God of the Universe will use for my good. Nothing will be wasted.

My story will stand.

How about you?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this verse and something you have had to learn the hard way about relationships.

Today, Lord we come to You asking for your protection and mercy for all of us that are so undeserving. We pray for those that have hurt us along the path of this life. Life is hard and the pain is often overwhelming, but I know that nothing You allow into our lives is ever wasted. Help us to not be overcome with evil and lash out at those that have hurt us. Help us to stand strong and face the battles with Your Word and the power of the Sword. You are all powerful and for that I am thankful. POWER and PROMISES.

Love Is Safe

Love is Safe

Do you agree with that statement?

I know personally that for years I truly believed that love was painful, hurtful and full of anger, yet over the last 30 years of being married to Mike, I have learned a different definition of love.

Oh, of course our story has not been perfect or free from hurt or pain, but I know the definition I have learned from being with Mike, is totally different from the “LOVE” my parents, siblings and other extended family has shown me.

Their love was exhibited in anger, abuse, neglect and damage to others I love or have loved.

This is not LOVE.. This is Hate and not anything I want to be a part of.

The love I have learned in the last 30 years will never make up for the lack of love and acceptance I didn’t receive in my childhood or teenage years, but a life well lived is often the best revenge.

I will not lose any more of my life to people that only wish to hurt me.

What are your views on this? Do you agree or are you a person that feels we are to stay connected to family no matter what they do or say?

I believe my life is so much better than theirs that they just cannot handle the reality of it.

I am not boasting.. I am just stating a fact.

They do not want me healed, happy or whole, yet God has called me out the past fear, anxiety, and agoraphobia just for that reason. I truly believe if God and I had not a “meet to” I would not be in the place I am in at this time. I probably would be dead due to the mental anguish I was constantly in because of the fear and anxiety.

God did a huge work in the life of a sinner when He healed me from the past abuse, neglect and fear, but when He told me ” You cannot go back”, I knew that I had to have boundaries.

Love is Safe.

Not perfect; Just safe.

Today, I want to offer you hope. Nothing you have faced in the past or even today is ever wasted, but I also know that God does not want me or you to keep going back to the “waste”, but to move forward to the place God has called us to be today. The past is over and all we have is today. You and I are both more than conquerors with Christ in our corner. I keep pushing forward and seeking the will of God. The enemy keeps trying but I keep fighting. How about you? Are you going to give up or keep fighting? Our God is bigger than anything the enemy can throw at us. Don’t forget that.. Fight and Win…